Friday, June 20, 2008

The Life of a Pennyless Writer

I just finished the first draft of my article on recycling and eco-fashion. The article is a little over 800 words. Apparently is a long article by journalism standards, but in my opinion it’s rather short. Then again, I'm used to writing 10 page papers. I guess I should start by saying that I consider myself a writer, but by no means do I consider myself a Journalist. I've written an article on horse slaughter for my freshman English class, and an article about rebuilding after the fires for my senior English class. But that’s it. On the interview front I have done two e-mail interviews, and one phone interview. But that was the extent of my skills.

That was then. This is now. Not that I've actually done that much more. I wrote another article, did another phone interview, and interviewed about five strangers in OB. But it would be a lie to say that I haven’t learned anything. The Workshop has been an excellent crash course and immersion into journalism. I'm excited to learn a new type of writing, and I have the greatest respect for journalists. It's been extremely interesting to see "how it’s done" in journalism. I'd come to think of the media as something of a grumpy old man, constructed of newspapers, radios, computers and televisions. Well, that doesn’t make much sense does it? What I mean is I thought of the media as one faceless entity, invisible, omniscient, with naught but a name: The Press.

I had no idea how the press got their information, but I did know that they were really good at it. When my house burned down there was one extremely inconspicuous photographer. He was a portly older gent, with salt and pepper hair and exciting yellow overalls that were probably meant to keep his clothes clean and protect him from the intense heat of the post-fire rubble. He was nice enough. He asked our names, took a few pictures and left. So imagine my surprise when people from Nor. Cal. And other states sent me messages saying they saw a picture of me standing in front of my burned down house on the front page of their local newspapers. My picture was plastered throughout the net (I heard it even made it on Al Jazeera, the Arabic news channel). Hmm. I realize now that I went off on an extreme bird walking expedition, but I guess that’s all.


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